Fort Bend ISD Trustees approve significant revisions to board policy affecting attendance boundaries and feeder patterns
FORT BEND ISD: At the August 18 Board meeting, the FBISD Board of Trustees approved revisions to Board Policy FC (Local) governing attendance boundaries and feeder patterns. Based on the adoption of this revised policy, the administration is developing procedures, a timeline and comprehensive plan to put the new policy into action.
These revisions were provided for in the District’s Facilities Master Plan adopted by the Board in April 2014. The plan addressed the need for the Board to review, revise and create policy to address student participation in instructional programs not located on their home campus, building use and capacity, attendance boundaries and feeder patterns.
Beginning with the community engagement work in August 2013 and during the development of the Facilities Master Plan, the Board began discussing an in-depth policy review with the administration. Most recently, the Board continued their collaboration with the administration guided by Dr. Cathy Mincberg of the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS).
The policy revisions reflect the items closely reviewed including the Board’s overall philosophy regarding attendance boundaries, feeder patterns, and distribution of programs. The policy addresses priorities held by the community, as well as the Board’s desire to:
- Maintain neighborhood schools,
- Preserve “pure” feeder patterns,
- Maintain a student-centered approach,
- Ensure students zoned to campuses are not moved or negatively impacted when distributing programs among schools, and
- Create attendance boundaries that will stand for five or more years when possible.
Instead of making decisions that meet immediate needs to create attendance boundaries related to the opening of new schools, the policy revisions allow for the Administration to obtain data, review the data, and make recommendations to the Board after implementing the community engagement process regarding the need for alternative student enrollment options, including new construction and/or attendance boundary modifications. The community engagement process will be developed by the district’s administration and replaces the current process involving the building utilization committee.
The administration has begun to develop a long-range plan to address district feeder patterns and boundaries, including new attendance boundaries for two new elementary schools scheduled to open in 2015 and 2016. Based on a new demographic update and other information that will be available in late fall 2014, the administration will review the data and implement a community engagement process to bring recommendations to the Board. Any changes to feeder patterns, attendance boundaries, or the distribution of programs will reflect the Board’s priorities addressed in the revised policy. The administration expects to discuss preliminary plans with the Board of Trustees at a Board meeting in September.